Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coastal Route brand link to get promotional funding

Shared Island initiative to boost tourism and other sectors in multimillion-euro programme

Millions of euro will be made available to promote links between the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route tourism brands under the Government’s Shared Island initiative.

A further €50 million is to be approved under Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s cross-Border project in the days before he leaves office.

Mr Martin, who will rotate positions with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar on December 17th, is to set out the funding allocations, which bring the total given to all-island projects to €190 million since the initiative was established in 2020, in a speech on Monday morning.

Peatland restoration

Under the latest funding tranche, all-island programmes on peatland restoration and biosecurity will be awarded money alongside tourism “brand collaboration and marketing initiatives”.

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Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin will make up to €7.6 million available for tourism agencies for a new collaboration linking the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route.

The Creative Ireland programme and cultural heritage projects also stand to benefit from the funding announced over the period 2023-2027, as well as a contribution to a new Shared Island Civic Society fund, and the development of a cross-Border innovation hub and a second round of the North-South Research Programme.

The announcement also covers a €20 million contribution for centres for research and innovation on climate and sustainable food systems.

Invasive species

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will take ultimate responsibility in Dublin for the cross-Border peatland restoration project, to be led by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as a partnership on invasive species.

The Higher Education Authority will administer a North-South Research Programme, with Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris to launch a second round of the programme next year.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will be responsible for a funding scheme to enable organisations to develop new cross-Border links and further existing partnerships. A pilot call for the scheme will commence this month, seeking applications from organisations working in climate, environment, community development, heritage and conservation, social enterprise, sport and other areas.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times